Holiday marketing may be a must, but it’s also a minefield of cliche and redundancy. Some clever brands, however, are getting super creative and ditching the holiday card for awesome santa storytelling.
On Monday, we looked at our first five awesome pieces of branded holiday content. Today, we analyze five more that are putting a new spin on Santa.
1. Rebranding Santa
If Santa is going to remain the world’ favorite magical holiday creature, he’s got to keep his brand on point.
UK communications firm Quietroom did for Santa what they do for their clients: They rebranded him. With the *Santa* Brand Book, Old St. Nick is analyzed and refreshed, from brand assets to color palette.
The 15-page brand book is whimsical, surprising and wickedly clever, including wry language guidelines. If you’ve ever had to memorize a brand book, it’ll crack you up. Be sure to know, Santa is round and jolly, not morbidly obese. After all, the dude is immortal!
Simply put, it’s an amazing piece of B2B holiday content.
2. Celebrating Santa Screamers
Parents who digitally bedazzle photos of their children practically make up a market of their own, so it’s no wonder that preschool entertainment channel Sprout found a way to leverage the activity for a holiday campaign. At the dedicated website, sproutMOMents.com, parents can upload their holiday kid photos, jazz them up and the post them to their social media accounts with the hashtag #SproutMOMents.
Rather than focusing on traditional photos of perfect children smiling on Santa’s lap, this fun tool encourages parents to share holiday meltdown photos with captions such as “Holiday cheers and tears” and “Tis the season to be messy.”
3. Keeping Santa’s Secrets
If Christmas is open season for lying to children, Toronto-based ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo is giving parents the most powerful ammunition for the hunt yet with Kringl™ “The proof of Santa app.” Even the least talented liars can smooth over their Santa slip-ups with video evidence of St. Nick in their own home.
Parents simply take a video of their empty living room and Kringl plops Santa in, performing a variety of Christmas tasks. Just in case parents have qualms about deepening their Santa deception, the free app gives users the option of donating to Make-A-Wish® Canada.
4. Straight Up Scary Santa
In what is arguably the – ahem – polar opposite approach to content that preserves the magic of Santa, Greenpeace launched a website and accompanying video entitled “Save Santa’s Home,” starring a disheveled and desperate Santa (played by Downton Abby’s Jim Carter), pleading with viewers to demand world leaders take action on global warming, OR CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED. FOREVER.
If the sentiment isn’t scary enough, Santa’s Blair Witch Project-style performance in a darkened cement room should do the trick. There’s humor in there, with Santa mentioning that Presidents Obama and Putin are now squarely on his naughty list, but it’s a bit overshadowed by the opening shot of Father Christmas creepily swaying in the corner. Whether the video leaves one laughing or terrified, the call to action certainly does its job: viewers can then sign a “Save the Arctic” petition or purchase (notably less disturbing) holiday cards to support Greenpeace.
It’s a rough year for Santa. Greenpeace has him locked in a basement, and SodaStream is calling him a fat sellout. The Green Santa campaign spreading through the company’s social media channels strongly implies that the round, red Santa known worldwide was an identity thrust upon the character years ago (they’re looking at you, Coca-Cola), and with proper eating and exercise, he can get back to his trim, green self – with the help of healthy, home-carbonated water, of course.
With an overload of awkward pop culture references and an uphill battle against the universal perception of Santa Claus, SodaStream may not be permanently revolutionizing the old man’s image, but it appears they’re having a good time trying.
Coming up with new content ideas for Santa Claus seems like it would take a Christmas miracle, but these brands are beating the odds.
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